UK Russia talks
(British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov)

Russia, UK hold unfruitful talks in Moscow


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday (Feb 10) the meeting with his UK counterpart in Moscow was “a talk of a mute with a deaf.”

“I’m honestly disappointed that what we have is a conversation between a mute and a deaf person … Our most detailed explanations fell on unprepared soil,” Russia’s top diplomat told reporters.

He added that the “facts” presented by his team on the crisis “bounced off” their British counterparts.

Lavrov reiterated that the Russian military build-up around Ukraine posed no threat and that Moscow’s security demands in Europe had been ignored. Russia has denied Western accusations that it may be planning to invade its former Soviet neighbour.

“I can’t see any other reason for having 100,000 troops stationed on the border, apart from to threaten Ukraine. And if Russia is serious about diplomacy, they need to remove those troops and desist from the threats,” British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss said.

The new round of talks came as French President Emmanuel Macron just visited Moscow and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will do so next week. The U.S. also recently sent its top diplomat to sit down with Lavrov.

UK PM Boris Johnson embarked on his own trip to NATO HQ in Brussels and then Poland, warning that Europe faces the ‘most dangerous moment for decades’ and the ‘stakes are very high’.

At a joint press conference with Nato general secretary Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, Johnson said he did not believe the Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a final decision on whether to send troops over the border.

Truss, 46, the first foreign secretary to visit Moscow in four years, added there were “further talks to be had” between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis. UK’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, is scheduled to travel to Moscow for consultations with the Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, on Friday.

Truss also invited Lavrov to visit the UK in the coming months, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said in a press release on Thursday.

With reporting by Politico, The Guardian, Reuters, TASS